For the past two years, the IMPACT RISE program has focused on empowering the Lebanese social entrepreneurship ecosystem, enabling 16 ventures, 16 business coaches, 28 mentors, and 12 partners to create an everlasting wave of social and environmental change.
For the closing event of the program, Berytech gathered all those who were an essential part of its success to meet and celebrate yet another program rooting change in the ecosystem and the country.
Supporting The Growth of Social Ventures in Lebanon
In his opening word, Maroun Chammas, CEO, and Chairman of Berytech reiterated the successes of the program: “In 2019 during a very sensitive period in Lebanon, we launched together with MEPI, Impact Rise, a program designed to support the growth of sustainable and scalable social ventures in Lebanon. I can say today with pride that despite all the hardships the Lebanese society and ecosystem went through during the last two years, we have succeeded in our mission. The reasons behind this success are undoubtedly the determination of Lebanese social entrepreneurs, the devotion of our experts and mentors, the trust of the US Embassy, and of course the hard work of all of the Berytech team.
Within the two years, a $400K grant supported 16 startups, graduated 7 finalists, created more than 100 direct and indirect jobs and dispersed more than $70K in support grants and enabled Lebanese startups to expand in the region. Despite the physical and moral harm that touched the teams and their loved ones directly in the aftermath of the August 4 Beirut Port blast, the Impact Rise startups stepped up to use their platforms for initiatives that directly impact people who have lost their homes, their safety, and their businesses. From dedicated volunteers and professionals, in construction and renovation to supporting fundraising campaigns to mapping families in need and connecting them to the right support entities, the help and contribution were endless. Social innovation nowadays has become a vertical touching everyone’s life.”
Consecutively, David Lewis, US Embassy Official Representative – MEPI Coordinator talked about the importance of social entrepreneurship to Lebanon today: “Entrepreneurs have embraced a different vision for Lebanon. They look at the same challenges and see opportunities. They think creatively and develop new solutions that dramatically break up the status quo. This innovative approach to problem-solving is much needed today. A social entrepreneur takes this approach a step further by seeking to impact a particular social cause that benefits society and hopefully brings about positive change. Today, I’m so pleased to meet with these new Lebanese startups and the Berytech team, who for the past two years led this initiative and successfully completed all activities.
The Impact Rise program has not only enabled bright, hard-working Lebanese entrepreneurs to develop and sustain their businesses but has opened opportunities and facilitated working across the country. This project is just one of a long series of efforts to help the Lebanese economy grow.”
Contributing to a Better Lebanon
The program provided more than 120 hours of mentoring, 290 hours of coaching, 95 hours of capacity building, 75 hours of one-on-one consultancy, and several community-building events.
Berytech has chosen 7 social ventures to graduate from the Impact Rise Accelerator Program. They were chosen based on their social impact, progress, commitment, and potential of scalability:
FabricAID is a Lebanese social enterprise that enables underprivileged people to get decent clothing at affordable prices while reducing fabric waste. FabricAID collects clothes either from partnering NGOs or through their smart clothing collection bins. Collected clothes appropriate for reuse are sorted into over 50 categories to be sold either through one of FabricAID’s permanent shops located in very underprivileged and remote areas.
Find A Nurse is the easiest and most reliable way to find, hire, and manage nurses, nannies, and trusted caregivers via its online platform. It allows users to browse nearby caregivers’ profiles, filter and sort them based on proximity and fees, and check their photos, availability, qualifications, locations, and biographies.
Green Track is a social enterprise for a sustainable waste management system, that aims to solve the waste crisis in Lebanon through the sorting at source and recycling projects led by Green Women Team.
La Brocante, under the Arcenciel NGO, collects used furniture and appliances donated by households, restores, up-cycles, and sells them at reasonable prices in Jisr el Basha and Mansourieh warehouse. By giving a new life to used furniture through antiquing, the new objects are then sold, therefore generating revenues for Arcenciel’s social and environmental causes and sustainability.
Live Love Recycle is a mobile application that connects people keen to sort their waste and to recycle, as there is no public waste management in Beirut, and no affordable recyclable collection services. With just one click a driver on an e-bike will reach the destination within 30 minutes.
Teabah is a Lebanese tea brand planted and cultivated in Lebanon. The startup trains women to plant and cultivate herbs and plants providing them with the plants they need to fill out the empty spaces in their gardens. It then processes the crops in its workshops, blends them, and hires more women to package them.
The Volunteer Circle is a smart skill-sharing platform that transforms the way we approach volunteering in Lebanon and the MENA region. Despite the many needs vs. the many talents in our region, only 3.7% of the population volunteers. The Volunteer Circle is an AI-powered platform that matches the supply of time/skills of volunteers to the community’s needs on-demand.
In the words of Krystel Khalil, Programs Director at Berytech: “The program was launched the same week of the 2019 Lebanese revolution. Why do we keep on repeating this? Because we saw the actual work of social entrepreneurs during the crisis and how this program continued to grow and create all these opportunities. Having worked extensively with the startups it was amazing to see how they managed to keep a strong drive and believe in their venture and mobilize their communities during the toughest times in Lebanon. This showed us, in reality, the importance of social entrepreneurs in responding to crisis and contributing to a better country.”
About the Impact Rise Social Innovation Program
The Impact Rise social innovation program is designed and managed by Berytech and funded by the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) to put ambitious startups, devoted experts and support partners on the road to growing sustainable and successful social ventures. Learn more.